Author: Catherine Shu

Google launches clean energy project in Taiwan, its first in Asia

Google has launched its first clean energy project in Asia. The company announced today that it struck a long-term agreement to buy the output of a 10-megawatt solar array in Tainan City, Taiwan, about 100 km south of its data center in the country. Google already has solar and wind projects across North and South America, as well as Europe. The agreement is a collaboration between Google, several Taiwanese energy companies, and the country’s government, which recently revised Taiwan’s Electricity Act to enable non-utility companies to purchase renewable energy directly. The revisions are part of Taiwan’s new energy policy,...

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Netflix’s ‘Roma’ nominated for 10 Oscars, including best picture and director

Netflix and Hulu will both have films in the running at the Academy Awards this year. Netflix changed its rules for theatrical releases to give “Roma” a better chance during awards season and it paid off today when the Alfonso Cuarón film was nominated for 10 Oscars, including best picture and best director. Netflix’s “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” directed by Ethan and Joel Coen, received three nominations. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced nominees this morning for the ceremony, which will take place on Feb. 24. “Roma” is also in the running for best leading...

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All your meme are belong to AOC

Memes are the new vernacular of political culture and we dismiss them at our own peril. Liberals learned this the hard way late in the presidential campaign, when they began realizing how deftly the alt-right was able to use viral jokes, hashtags, and images as a propaganda tool, often to bolster white supremacist ideology. The phenomenon was propagated by Donald Trump, often through retweets (the president’s Twitter account, @realDonaldTrump, is arguably a meme farm at the highest level of government). Progressives have tried to fight back with their own memes, but nothing has gained the potency of say, new vocabulary like...

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Microsoft pledges $500M to create affordable housing around Seattle

At a time when tech companies are being blamed for creating housing shortages in cities across the country, Microsoft told the Seattle Times it will make a $500 million pledge, its largest ever, to create affordable housing around Seattle. The company is currently in the middle of a multi-billion dollar expansion of its Redmond, Washington campus. Microsoft’s pledge comes half a year after Seattle City Council failed to pass a “head tax” that would have required companies making more than $200 million a year to pay $275 per employee in taxes. The money would have been used to address...

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On-demand telehealth company Tyto Care adds Sanford Health, Itochu and Shenzhen Capital Group as strategic investors

Tyto Care, a telehealth company that enables physicians to conduct on-demand remote exams, announced today that it has added $9 million to its Series C, bringing the round’s total to $33.5 million. The new funding comes from strategic investors Sanford Health, Itochu, and Shenzhen Capital Group. First announced last year, the oversubscribed Series C was led by Ping An Global Voyager Fund, run by the Chinese financial conglomerate. Itochu, Shenzhen Capital Group, and Sanford Health, the largest rural not-for-profit health care system in the United States, will serve as Tyto’s new strategic partners as it expands in Japan, China,...

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YouTube will “ramp up” enforcement of its policies against dangerous challenges and pranks

YouTube announced several policy updates today, including more stringent enforcement of its ban on videos of dangerous challenges and pranks. In a FAQ posted to its support site, YouTube wrote “we’ve updated our external guidelines to make it clear that challenges like the Tide Pod challenge or the Fire challenge, that can cause death and/or have caused death in some instances, have no place on YouTube.” Its policies also extend to pranks “with a perceived danger of serious physical injury,” like home invasion or drive-by shooting pranks. Reminder 1⃣: Custom thumbnail images must follow our Community Guidelines. A thumbnail...

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Roku now deleting Infowars from its platform after customer outcry

Roku is deleting the Infowars channel from its platform, a couple days after adding it as a supported channel. In a tweet, Roku said after the channel became available, “we heard from concerned parties and have determined that the channel should be removed from our platform. Deletion from the channel store and platform has begun and will be completed shortly.” After the InfoWars channel became available, we heard from concerned parties and have determined that the channel should be removed from our platform. Deletion from the channel store and platform has begun and will be completed shortly. — Roku (@Roku)...

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Hulu unexpectedly releases “Fyre Fraud” days before Netflix’s competing documentary

Not since the literary biopic showdown between “Capote” and “Infamous” has there been such an intense battle for the attention of viewers. This time, the fight is between Hulu and Netflix’s competing documentaries about the disastrous Fyre Festival, a 2017 music festival whose failure led to eight lawsuits and a six-year prison sentence for co-founder Billy McFarland. Hulu unexpectedly released its film, “Fyre Fraud” today, just four days before Netflix’s “Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened” was scheduled to premiere. Both films are helmed by award-winning filmmakers. Entertainment Today reports that Hulu hopes its documentary, directed by Emmy-nominated,...

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